Young and the Restless

Happy anniversary, The Young and the Restless: 5 + 1 reasons to watch the 51-year-old soap right now

The Young and the Restless turned 51 on March 26, 2024, and is still going strong, keeping its decades-long status as TV’s number one soap.

On March 26, 1973, a new half-hour soap was born on CBS. The first daytime drama to be created by Irna Phillips protégé Bill Bell, it told the story of the Brooks and Foster families in a sleepy Wisconsin town. Today, members of the Brooks family sporadically appear for special occasions, and the only Foster left on the canvas is Jill Foster Abbott Atkinson.

Instead, the Abbott, Newman, and Winters clans rule the Genoa City roost and are going strong, bringing in a multi-generational audience. Today, there’s just as much reason to tune in as ever, and here are some highlights.


When longtime CBS soap fans spied As the World Turns icon Colleen Zenk as Claire’s mysterious Aunt Jordan on November 17, 2023, we all let out a collective gasp. This was the Y&R casting coup that gave and keeps on giving, as Jordan is crazier with each passing day.

It’s clear Zenk is loving every second of her soap opera resurgence as Jordan dramatically ingests poison, hisses at Nikki and Claire, and vows revenge on Victor. We’re just sitting back and enjoying the ride because Jordan undoubtedly has a few more tricks up her sleeve.


Lily Winters never expected to return to Genoa City from an extended California trip and find her boyfriend had reunited with his ex and neglected to tell her. Daniel has his excuses, and Heather can barely look Lily in the eye — and Lily won’t allow them any grace for their actions.

Instead, Lily is taking charge of her life as she tries to decide if she should send Heather to the unemployment line. She’s not about to allow yet another heartache to bring her down. Instead, she is taking numbers and ready to put all the pieces back together to be the strong woman her mother, Drucilla, taught her to be.


While it has yet to be confirmed what is wrong with Ashley, as of this writing, it looks like Y&R is going in a DID direction and giving her several extra personalities later in life. Ashley has had breakdowns and mental health issues through the years, so it’s very possible her current problem can be related to her old problems and can explain them, as well.

As we wait for answers, Eileen Davidson is a joy to watch as she plays multiple characters who are called Ashley. However, is Ashley their name, or do they have their own monikers? Maybe Jack should ask the pigtailed version of his sister he found binge watching a sitcom on the couch one morning.


Y&R seems to have cornered the market on creative stand-alone soap episodes over the last few years and has presented two so far in 2024. During the first stand-alone in January, Sharon imagined what her life would be like in the near future if she broke up with Chance and reunited with Nick. It was a deep dive into Shick and what went wrong, so maybe one day, they can get it right.

The second stand-alone featured Claire Grace as she dreamed of what life could have been if Jordan hadn’t kidnapped her at birth and raised her to believe her parents never loved or wanted her. She would have had the ideal life, but we’re left to wonder if her future will be ideal now.


If you want to get into a new soap, you won’t have to worry about Y&R leaving the airwaves anytime soon. That number one Nielsen status has its perks, because the soap was recently picked up through the 2027-2028 TV season, meaning you have at least four more years of Genoa City to love. And remember, there is always YouTube if you want to catch up on what you missed over the last 51 years.


The great Victor Newman and Eric Braeden, ya got that? The larger-than-life actor and character have been lighting up the Y&R screen since 1980 and show no signs of slowing down. Victor Newman is still going strong, moving the Genoa City chess pieces all over the board, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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